No vice presidential nominee since Lyndon Johnson has had a significant impact on a presidential election. Biden and Palin aren't likely to either.
Nevertheless, Democrats can rejoice at McCain's choice. Let's just hope that he keeps telling the country his 44-year-old beauty queen is ready to be president.
God knows, we can use some laughs.
The best laugh of all is that McCain thinks he can snag the Hillary refuseniks with a female and appease the Religious Right with Palin's anti-abortion rights stance. He's going to lose on both counts.
First off, a big chunk of Religious Right folks wouldn't let women lead prayer; they're sure not going to let a skirt lead the country.
Fundamentalists can prove that God wants women to be under the dominion of men with a whole slew of Bible verses. It's God first. Men second. Women and children last. I've never been able to get a fundamentalist to tell me exactly when a boy becomes a man and can no longer be instructed by a woman. Is it 12? 18? Some of those old boys never become men.
Many fundamentalist churches won't allow a woman to speak in front of a church congregation at all. Ever. When my uncle died, my aunt wanted me to speak at his funeral in the Church of Christ. The preacher very kindly said, "No." I could help serve the after-funeral dinner, however.
They won't allow a woman to lead a Sunday School class that men and women both attend.
And fundamentalists aren't making these rules on their own. They're following God, who will hold men accountable on Judgment Day if they haven't exercised their God-given authority.
Of course, we know that the Religious Right's standards rest on shifting sands. McCain himself demonstrates that. He's a philanderer who left his faithful first wife after she waited five years for him, raised their children alone, and was badly injured in an automobile accident. He left her for a young, beautiful heiress. A beer-distributor heiress.
But not one tee-totaling, family-value fundamentalist has made a peep about any of that.
Fundamentalists can be flexible when it suits them. But McCain's pushing 'em.
Nothing like he's pushing the buttons of the Hillary supporters by choosing an anti-abortion beauty queen.
It's enough to make a Democrat turn to God in gratitude: "Thank you, Lord. You've finally given us the man we've been waiting for."
Christine Wicker is the author of "The Fall of the Evangelical Nation: The Surprising Crisis Inside the Church." Her website is www.ChristineWicker.com